The National Weather Service is warning northeast Oklahoma of upcoming "prolonged life-threatening cold" and significant snowfall in the coming days.
"The main forecast concern this morning is, well, pretty much the entire forecast, with multiple winter weather impacts expected through the middle of next week," the NWS Tulsa station wrote in a Friday forecast. "Specifically, the potential for two major snow storms - one Sunday/Monday and another Tuesday/Wednesday - to affect the forecast area, as well as a continuation and eventual worsening of the prolonged life- threatening cold."
Forecasts call for 8 to 12 inches of snow through Wednesday, though meteorologists say projections are liable to change. Temperatures are predicted to drop as low as -6 degrees Fahrenheit by Monday, with significantly lower wind chill values.
"Be prepared to be home-bound for an extended period of time; if you must drive, to be stranded in your vehicle for an extended period of time; and for power outages," the NWS said in a video briefing Thursday evening.
City of Tulsa street maintenance manager Tim McCorkell said Thursday crews were preparing to switch over from the de-icing operations of this week so far to snow-clearing efforts, noting that forecasts calling for anywhere from eight to 15 inches of snow with strong winds will make plowing difficult.
"We're still going to have to contend with, there's still wet roadways, so we still have re-freeze at night so we possibly still could have ice underneath it when it comes in. So that's a little bit more difficult," McCorkell said.
"When you plow the snow off, if it's still blowing and you're putting salt down and it drifts back in, then you're just plowing your salt off, too," McCorkell said.
"But we have plenty of crews ready to go and we've got experienced people to deal with it," McCorkell said. "We've got a good stock of salt and plow blades and the plows are all ready to go, so I don't see an issue at this time."